By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners voted 3-0 to increase the Belknap County Nursing Home private pay rate to $300 a day when they met Wednesday morning.
The $10 a day increase is the first private pay rate increase since Jan. 15, 2015, when it was increased from $250 to $290.
Only 12 of the nursing home's 94 residents are in the private pay category according to Nursing Home Administrator Shelley Richardson. County Commission Chairman David DeVoy (R-Sanbornton) said that the increase will mean $43,800 a year in additional income for the nursing home.
It increases the monthly rate to $9,000, which is about $110,000 a year, and puts the county facility at the same rate of $300 per day as the Laconia Rehabilitation Center on Blueberry Lane in Laconia.
Figures provided by Richardson show that the Saint Francis Rehab and Nursing Center in Laconia has a rate of $315 per day, Golden View Health Care Center in Meredith has a $335 per day rate and in Franklin, the Mountain Ridge Center has a rate of $276 for a private room and $290 for a private suite.
DeVoy said that his calculations show that the average cost per patient is over $300 per day and Richardson said it is around $306 per day. DeVoy asked her if the $300 a day which was being recommended was enough and asked her to report at the next meeting of the commission on what the actual per day costs are.
The commission approved changes in the contract of registry nurses and nursing assistants at the county home who will be required to work at least 40 hours per month, including one weekend per month and one major holiday during the year. Nurses and nursing assistants who are on the registry are part-time workers who are paid between $16 and $30 per hour and are eligible for overtime but not for any benefits such as insurance, sick time or vacation time.
Commissioners heard a report from Dona Hepp, chairman of the board of supervisors of the Belknap County Conservation District, and Lisa Morin, the district's sole employee, on the district's community outreach and assistance program, which included rehabilitation of a wetlands walk at Gunstock Mountain Resort and stream bank restoration projects in Gilford and Laconia.
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